Iconic Songwriters’ Copyright Infringement Claims against Dua Lipa’s “Levitating” can Proceed to Discovery

August 11, 2023
Iconic Songwriters’ Copyright Infringement Claims against Dua Lipa’s “Levitating” can Proceed to Discovery

In March of 2022, Brown, LLC, filed a complaint in the federal court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of storied songwriters L. Russell Brown and Sandy Linzer, composers of such classic hits as “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree,” “Knock Three Times,” “Working My Way Back to You,” “Dawn (Go Away),” “Let’s Hang On” and many others.  Sandy Linzer had his song “Native New Yorker” recently featured in the Spider-Man movie and L. Russell Brown has a viral hit right now with Dan Auerbach from the Black Keys – “Every Chance I Get (I Want You In The Flesh).”

The complaint alleges that British popstar Dua Lipa’s 2021 chart-topper “Levitating,” which she allegedly wrote with others, infringed Brown’s and Linzer’s intellectual property in the song “Wiggle and Giggle All Night,” a disco hit that they wrote together in 1979 and the derivative hit “Don Diablo.”

In a significant legal development, the court denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss the complaint, meaning that the case can now proceed to the discovery stage. The judge specifically found that the complaint set forth enough facts about the songs’ melodic and rhythmic similarities that, if proven in discovery, the jury could conclude defendants copied the earlier composition.

Jason T. Brown, head of the firm, stated, “We’re proud to represent these talented and iconic songwriters, and to fight for their right for just compensation. We look forward to presenting our case in court and to the eventual vindication of Mr. Brown’s and Mr. Linzer’s rights.”

Even though a lawsuit is pending, Defendants have made no admission of liability or wrongdoing and are vigorously contesting the allegations and the lawsuit.  However, pre-dating the lawsuit scores of individuals commented on the similarity between “Don Diablo” and “Levitating.”

The case is Larball Publishing Co et al v Lipa et al, No. 22-cv-1872 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Brown, LLC handles high profile cases nationwide such as False Claims Act litigation on behalf of whistleblowers, and also represents established artists assert their intellectual property rights. If you have information regarding any of these matters, Brown, LLC encourages you to call their office.